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A small randomized controlled trial shows that a bioavailable form of curcumin improves memory in older people with mild memory complaints.
The curcumin group had a 28% improvement in their memory/attention abilities and fewer amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain via PET analysis while the placebo group showed no improvements.
The curcumin was a bioavailable form of curcumin called Theracurmin. Those in the curcumin group took 90 mg of curcumin twice daily for 18 months.
The mechanisms by which curcumin affect memory and plaque accumulation in humans are not known. However, animal studies have shown that curcumin prevents proteins from aggregating and amyloid plaque accumulation. Larger trials with the bioavailable form of curcumin need to be done before conclusions can be made particularly since clinical trials with non-bioavailable curcumin supplements have yielded mixed results.